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For Ho Yay tropes applicable to Love Live! Sunshine!!, see here.
Yume no meiro... yuri no meiro...

Even for a cast that's entirely comprised of schoolgirls, Love Live! has quite a bit of yuri subtext in. The reason for this can be attributed to fact that Sakurako Kimino (yes, that Sakurako Kimino) came up with the original concept for the characters, and she also writes for one of the official manga. It's pretty clear that she's a fan of this trope herself, given the sheer amount of subtext in her works. To wit, the manga and light novels she's penned have quite a bit of blatant Les Yay in it. It's worth noting that the anime has noticeably less yuri subtext in it, but it's still prominent to the point where it is worth mentioning.

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    Nico x Maki 
  • Out of all the pairings, the most notable is Nico and Maki. The 2 characters have a natural chemistry with each other (romantic or otherwise), and its the pairing that gets the most mentions in the series by far. The manga, light novels, PV's, audio drama's and even the anime all outright mention or allude to their special relationship. It's so prominent in fact, that some of the members of Muse, and even the voice actresses, ship them together!
  • Contrary to popular belief, this pairing was HUGE before the anime. So big in fact, that even during the pre-anime days the number of Nico/Maki fanart on pixiv easily dwarfed every other popular pairing. In fact, fans were actually surprised at the relative lack of Nico and Maki interaction in the first season of the anime, which sparked confusion in the newer members of the fanbase when season 2 significantly increased the interaction between the two characters.


  • The cover to the 4th single Mogyutto "LOVE" de Sekkin Chuu! has Nico wrapping her arms around Maki and in the PV, Maki gives a surprised Nico Valentine's day chocolate. The latter is especially notable as the rest of the members are giving their chocolate to an unknown person.
  • The cover the 6th single Music: Start has Nico wrapping her arms around Maki and nuzzling her.
  • The cover of BiBi's last single Sakkaku CROSSROADS has Maki hugging Nico from behind.

Audio Drama:

  • The Valentine's Day audio drama has Muse break up into "pairs" in an attempt to come up with their perfect Valentine scenario. Nico's scenario involves two anguished friends (who are secretly twin siblings!) slowly overcoming taboo and admitting their true feelings towards each other. Nico and Maki act the scenario out, and after they finish, the rest of the gang are moved to tears (even the normally cool-headed Eli is weepy). They then declare their undying support for the "couple". Maki immediately tries to shoot them down due to the fact they were only "acting", but her friends get more and more aggressive with their support. Some choice quotes include:
    Rin: Then why not go out for real?
    Honoka: Yeah! Just go out for real! You match each other nicely!
    Rin: Nico, work hard after you go to her place, okay?
    Nozomi: Take care of your body, alright, Nico-chan?
    Nico: Okay, dad, mom. I'm going to be Maki's bride now.
    Maki: ...Besides, weren't you going to be the guy?


  • The two of them strike up an immediate connection from the moment they meet each other. Tied by their desire to go to UTX, Nico and Maki spend quite a bit of time together. Maki usually ends up getting caught up in Nico's schemes and she has a tendency of blushing furiously when Nico gets close to her (which is an incredibly common occurrence). Unlike in the the other adaptations, Maki and Nico are very friendly towards each other.
  • To enter UTX, Nico has to win Love Live for the scholarship offered to the winners. Nico was able to convince Maki to join Honoka's idol group with her and help them win Love Live, so that the two of them can go to UTX together.
  • "Going on a date with my best friend Maki"♡
  • Nico's Maki-chan.
  • This entire chapter is dedicated to Nico and Maki.
  • Chapter 36 reveals that Nico and Maki are regular customers to a maid cafe.


  • There's less subtext between these 2 characters in comparison to the other adaptations, but it's still there. It's mostly in the background of season 1, but it's more overt in season 2.

    • Season 1 Episode 9, during the Wonder Zone montage. There's a blink and you'll miss moment in which Kotori is serving Nico and Maki a parfait. A parfait with a romantic 2-in-1 straw.
      • In the same episode, we see Maki and Nico coming together to the club room. A big surprise since a.) Maki is in the same class as Hanayo and Rin, and b.) Maki had stayed behind to go with Nico rather than her classmates.
    • Season 1 Episode 12, when Nico starts to progressively get angrier at Honoka, Maki is the one to hold her back.
    • In Season 2 Episode 1, during a late-night group phone conversation the rest of the team are all at home in their pajamas, but only Nico and Maki are still outside together for reasons unknown. Nico is even dressed up nicely and wearing heels, discounting the possibility of it being practice.
      • Earlier in the same episode when Muse decides to participate in the upcoming Love Live competition Niko runs up and glomps Maki unprompted causing Maki to blush in embarrassment.
    • In Season 2 Episode 2, the pair share another late night date moment with roasted yams (with blushing on both parties), during the short moment when Eli excuses herself from their group.
    • In Season 2 Episode 4, when the group is speculating about why Nico skipped practice, Maki's eyes turn deadly at the suggestion that Nico has plans to cook dinner for an "important visitor".
    • Season 2 Episode 5 shows Nico clinging to Maki near the end of the episode when Rin comes out to reveal her more feminine outfit.
    • Season 2 Episode 11 Has Maki tearfully telling Nico that she doesn't want a μ's without her.
    • The Season 2 Volume 2 BD gave them their own duet song: "Zurui Yo magnetic today", showing both of them in a very tsundere dynamic.
      • That song dripping with Les Yay. They sing about how the other is dangerous and makes their heart beat fast.
    • The brief animation from the 4th Concert 2nd Day Bluray is filled with so much sugary Les Yay that it's almost impossible not to pass out from sugar shock.
    • The OVA also has quite a few moments despite only being 15 minutes long. Firstly, when it looks like Maki wont be able to attend μ's practise due to being sick, Nico acts very tsundere about the situation saying that if they have to visit her they will whilst bitting her thumb in worry (with Nozomi helpfully translating her "inner thoughts" as hoping she will be alright). Then when the group sees child Maki Nico says that she is even cuter then herself. Finally during the Music S.T.A.R.T!! ending theme the two are shown sleeping close together in bed in one scene and Nico is shown glomping Maki's chest in the latter (to Maki's embarrassment).

School Idol Festival:

  • The Valentine's Day & White Day events for Maki are predictably laden with some serious Nico/Maki subtext (arguably even text). In the Valentine's day event, Maki ruminates on giving Nico some Valentine's Day chocolate. She stresses over the possibility of Nico not being receptive to said chocolates (a.k.a her feelings), and then goes on to contemplate the very reason for why she should be giving her chocolates in the first place. In the end, Maki comes to the conclusion that she simply wants to make Nico happy.
  • In the White day event, Maki gives a follow up of what happened on Valentine's Day to the player; it turns out that Nico had the same idea, and ended up giving chocolate to Maki as well. Maki rejects her chocolate (she states that she wanted nothing in return, much to Nico's chagrin) but she ends up kicking herself for her harsh response. The player then suggests to Maki that she give Nico a present in return. What follows is one of the sweetest displays of affection in Love Live! history:
    Maki: Huh? You want me to give her a return gift?
    Maki: I see. I think I could tell her when I do that.
    Maki: ...That receiving chocolate from her made me really happy.

School Idol Diary:

  • During "The Seven Mysteries of Otonokizaka Academy", Nozomi tells a story about a ghost who plays the piano in the music room at night. Nico wants to investigate, so she brings Maki with her to Otonoki at night to decipher the notes. Maki (who is afraid of ghosts) clings on to Nico's back on the way to the music room. Later on, when they heard music coming from the music room, Maki panicked and ran away, leaving Nico alone in the comfort room. Outside the school, Maki realized she just left Nico behind and mustered up the bravery to go back in to look for her. She found Nico crying because Maki just abandoned her, and Nico pointed out that she was not afraid because they were together and it is different when you're alone. Maki held a crying Nico's hand and she led her out of the school. As they walk, Maki said to herself:
    Maki: It's strange... I was definitely afraid of ghosts... But I've already forgotten how scared I was... It's as Nico-chan said. It really is different when you're together.
    Maki: When Nico-chan is crying, I realized that she looks cute, like a little girl. I already put the events of tonight's ghosts and scares behind me.
  • The summer festival chapter has a very tender moment between the two of them. Nico and Maki meet each other early, and end up being separated shortly thereafter. After Nico reunites with Maki, the latter is rattled (she sprained her ankle), and on the brink of tears. Nico soothes her by gently holding her hand and leading the way. Nico's inner thoughts describe the moment in a very intimate manner. She makes a point to mention that their feelings reached each other without the use words, and that this would be a moment she would remember for life. At the end of the chapter, she makes a declaration:
    Nico: So that's why... That's why, I'll never say it to anyone. Not even Maki-chan.
    Nico: ...I really think that Maki-chan is cute, and I want to protect her, teehee.
    Nico: But, I will never, ever say it~♪
  • The manga adaptation of the summer festival chapter ramps up the subtext by making the whole thing similar to a date. For instance, the above moment is thought of by Nico as she is feeding Maki some takoyaki.
  • Nico at least glomped on Maki (which she had gotten used to it) in one of the chapters of the manga adaptation.


  • The movie piles on the Les Yay between these 2 to a degree that's outright hilarious. Tsubasa approaches Maki in an attempt to help Maki come up with a new song. However, what follows can only be described as outright seduction; Tsubasa leans into Maki in a sensual way, moves her lips to her ear (basically within kissing distance) and seductively says "Well... how about this?" Tsubasa then plays a dramatic tune and Maki blushes furiously. Nico having seen the entire thing play out is having a grade A freak out and is clearly jealous. Nozomi wonders what she's doing, and Nico stammers that it's nothing. Nozomi responds with a simple "Maki-chan, huh?" and Nico insists that its nothing, but is clearly blushing furiously at this point.
    Nico: They look like they're getting along, making new songs...
  • To finish this, Maki's flower-themed background on the Bokutachi wa Hitotsu no Hikari sequence is filled with roses, which symbolizes passion and to be in love (with Nico), and Nico's Pink Camellias symbolizes yearning to someone. Now that's subtle.


  • Here is a moment adlibbed by the voice actresses.

     Nozomi x Eli 
  • The most prominent pairing after Nico x Maki, Nozomi x Eli received quite a bit of attention in the various Love Live! adaptations as well. Its existence actually dates back all the way to the drama CD that was released after the 2nd LIVE, and it has only gotten more prominent since. Nozomi and Eli have a natural closeness to each other; the usually reserved and conscientious Eli always opens up to Nozomi, and Nozomi herself is rather fixated on Eli. This pairing arguably borders on canon, at least on Nozomi's part, given how flirty (and sometimes possessive) she is with Eli.

Audio drama:

  • The New Year's audio drama kicked this pairing into overdrive. It starts off with everyone but Nozomi making their wishes for the New Year. The girls then confront Nozomi about it, but Nozomi states that her answer would inconvenience "someone." Eli attempts to force it out of her, but accidentally falls on top of her. Nozomi then tells Eli to get off right away, or else she won't be able to restrain herself. She then admits the truth; she wished for her feelings to reach Eli. The rest of the girls are shocked, but Nozomi undercuts her previous statement by tacitly admitting that she was fibbing. Kotori notes that Nozomi might actually be in love with Eli; she simply couldn't admit to it, so she decided to play off her confession as a joke.


  • The manga starts out with a fair amount of subtext between those 2, and it only ramps up from there.
    • Shortly after Eli meets Nozomi, Eli notes that Nozomi is actually pretty cute, and makes the bold decision to feel her up (this doubles as an ironic moment, considering what Nozomi is known for...)
    • After a run in with the UTX student council president, Eli is distraught over the latter's conceited nature. She questions the rival student council president's proclivity towards aggression, but Nozomi comes to a radical conclusion; the UTX student council president likes Eli, and only causes trouble for her as a result of that. Eli is flustered by Nozomi's wild assessment, but it's what Nozomi says afterwards that sends her into blush meltdown:
      Nozomi: I've always thought that there was something off about how the president looks at Eli-chi. Not to mention, she seems so much more stubborn when it comes to Eli-chi.
      Eli: W-Wait! What are you even saying?!
      Nozomi: Even if that's the case, I won't ever let the president have Eli-chi.
      Eli: Y-You… What are you saying…


  • The parfait scene in episode 7 of season 2. Oh my goodness.
  • In the third episode of season two, Nozomi really seems interested in getting Eli to wear a sexy dress for their performance.
    • The English dub changes this from Eli in a sexy dress to Eli in a "sexy little number."
  • They got a duet song called "Garasu no Hanazono" (from the sixth volume of the first season's BD version) note , which talks about a maze of lilies (yuri in Japanese) and a forbidden love... It's just as unsubtle as you can get without going overboard.
  • There's also this moment where Nozomi is calmed down by Eli's presence and it all comes complete with bright blushes from both of them.
  • The penultimate episode of the second season, during the rooftop scene, gives us this.
  • To make things better, Eli's flower-themed background on the Bokutachi wa Hitotsu no Hikari sequence is forget-me-nots, which also symbolizes undying love and Everlasting connections (mostly with Nozomi).

School Idol Diary:

  • There is a considerable amount of Les Yay between the two in the School Idol Diary novel that focuses on them.
    • After completely forgetting about finals, Nozomi decides to rely on Maki and Umi to help her study. At the same time, Nozomi decides to actively avoid Eli for the time being, which causes Eli to become more and more upset. Nozomi's reasoning for avoiding Eli amounts to wanting to become more independent Eli, and also wanting Eli to "give in" first. Eventually, the 2 have a falling out of sorts (which can basically be compared to lover's quarrel), but they make up shortly thereafter. Nozomi comes to the conclusion that they should stay together from now on, that they definitely have a future together, even if they're polar opposites.
    • When the group decides to split up into pairs in order to scout for suitable PV locations, Nozomi and Eli (naturally) wind up together. Their outing ends up becoming fairly reminiscent of a date (to which they both acknowledge) but that doesn't deter them in the least bit. Eventually, Eli drags Nozomi around to go shopping with her, which ends with two of them buying matching rings. After swapping the rings, Nozomi describes the event as a "dry run" and a wedding of sorts. Eli refutes her, though she does so while laughing, and the text makes it unclear if that she truly means it.
    • This album consisting of the images from the light novel should speak for itself.
    • Eli and Nozomi as Romeo and Juliet, respectively. They're not even trying to be subtle about it anymore.
    • Their School Idol Quest story illustration has them dressed in traditional Japanese wedding clothes. At this point, it's as subtle as a brick to the face. note 
  • The latest School Idol Diary manga has them going on a date. And combined with them trading (cheap) rings (which is called School Rings by Eli) in a way on how couples do, It makes you really want them to genuinely marry at this point.


    Hanayo x Rin 
  • Hanayo x Rin is the most noteworthy pairing after the previous two. In short, while their friendship is consistent throughout every adaptation, there are several instances that seem to imply that there may be more to their friendship. The two of them share a deep bond with each other and are very loving towards each other. Rin has been shown to be quite clingy to Hanayo, and has gotten quite flustered over mere notion of Hanayo getting a boyfriend, for instance. Hanayo on the other hand, is very affectionate towards Rin. She has outright stated that Rin is cute to the point where she wants to hold her tightly.


  • Hanayo and Rin are practically attached at the hip in the manga; they're almost always seen together (in and out of school) and there's quite a bit of ship teasing interspersed throughout the manga.
  • There's a moment in which Rin accidentally touches Hanayo's breasts. Both parties blush furiously.
  • When Nozomi offers to give Hanayo a surge in power by... kissing her. Nozomi leans in to do the deed, but an enraged Rin puts an end to that.
  • Rin is clearly jealous when Nico hogs Hanayo to herself.


  • The biggest source of subtext comes from episode 5 of the second season. The episode mostly revolves around Rin's complex about being pretty, with Hanayo assuring her that she's cute and (in her words) "the cutest person in the world." She also goes on to say that Rin is cute to the point where she wants to hold her tightly, and the mood in this particular moment definitely has some romantic undertones.


  • While in New York, the two are sitting in their hotel room and discussing how the city feels just like Akiba. When the conversation lulls, Rin leans into Hanayo...
    Rin: You're warm, Kayo-chin.

School Idol Diary:


  • One of the live stages include their voice actresses (Yurika and Riho) covering their close eye contact to each other with a fan. This also made the audience imply that they actually kissed.
  • The entire plot of one of Eli's School Idol Diary chapters is (somewhat) centered on this, as Umi gets love letters — in an all girls school!
    • Eli teases Umi by suggesting that she respond to her love letters by stating that she already loves someone.
      Eli: Okay? Write it like this: "Thank you for telling me your feelings. However, I already have someone I love more than anyone else in the world. That would be my beloved childhood friend, Ko-u-sa-ka Ho-"
      Umi: U-Uwaaaaaaaa!!!
    • Umi manages to give as good as she gets.
      Umi: So that means you write replies like that too right? "Sorry, I already have someone who is very important to me. That would be the third-year, Toujou No-"
      Eli: Uwaaaaaaaa!!! W-What are you saying…
      Umi: See, you’re just like me. *giggles*
      Eli: …I really am. Ahh geez… Being in an all-girls school is tough!
    • And even with these two aforementioned Ship Teases for Honoka/Umi and Nozomi/Eli above, Eli still manages to tease Umi on what would happen if they, two of the most sought-after girls in school, were to become a couple.
      Eli: (holding Umi's hands from behind and leaning in close) If you and I were to become an item, would the school devolve into a sea of lamentations?
      Umi: (flustered) W-what are you saying?!
      • The stories from the 'Just Between Us' Eli event, an adaptation of this chapter, also have some Eli/Umi subtext: firstly we see Umi blushing as she receives a love confession from a girl, and then after Eli teases her about it, she says this:
    There you go, all red. You're so cute, Umi. I kind of get why the younger students want to approach you.
  • Needless to say, Nozomi has quite a few moments due to her "washi washi" scenes.
  • The manga adaptation is practically brimming with yuri subtext. It's not very subtle.
  • In chapter 19 of the School Idol Diary manga Umi and the rest of the μ's girls are taking a break from being Idols for the day and, while at home, she runs across her grandmother. Umi's grandmother complains about Umi not having a partner to kill time with and, when she insists she's fine, tells her to go to Honoka's shop to buy some manju and wait as long as it takes to buy it fresh. While there she comes across Honoka eating sweets on the veranda and the two of them get to sitting together and reminiscing about how, when they were children, Umi and Honoka would often spent long hours hanging out but despite how late it was Umi's grandmother never minded. Umi ends up realising by the end of the chapter that her grandmother used shopping as an excuse for her to make friends as a child and that she did it again today so that she could hang out with Honoka.
  • Chapter 7 of the mobile game is filled with it. In it, Honoka and Kotori become worried that Umi wants to quit the group. When Umi asserts that she is not doing so, Honoka blushingly says '<3 Obviously, I'd be nothing without you, Umi-chan.' After Kotori points out that she could have worded that better, Honoka insists movingly that she, Umi, and Kotori have to be together forever.
    Maki: This is sounding like a wedding...
    Hanayo: Then it'd be a a polygamous one...
    Rin: Hanayo and Maki, you two should be my brides too!
    Nozomi: I bet you feel better now, don't you, Eli?
    Eli: Yeah... Even just the thought of a μ's without Umi makes me shiver...
    Nozomi: *Sweatdrop* Ha ha ha...
  • The Secret Short Cuts, a set of short stories revolving around particular couples of girls, are basically all about this - every one of them is brimming with Les Yay. Here's an excerpt from the Umi/Kotori one:
    Hugging me, Kotori looks up and peers into my eyes. I feel like my heart is about to jump out of my chest from the sight. Is the coldness of the water getting to me? Kotori's smile is so white and dazzling.
    • The short story between Maki and Nico essentially boils down Nico asking Maki to share her umbrella with her as she jokingly flirts with her, all the while Maki gets more and more flustered. You have to see it to believe it.
      I knew that she was joking, but when I saw her large eyes, my heart ended up beating even faster, I really hate this sort of me...
      Maki: If it's only halfway… wouldn't you still end up getting soaked! It can’t be helped, I’ll walk you to your house!
      Nico had a complacent smile on her face.
      Ahh. I’m really weak.
  • When Honoka was asked in μ's Member Q&A who rather she be married with, if to Umi or to Kotori, this was her reaction:
    Eeeeh~!? I thought getting married would usually be to a guy but—- Oh well, I see. If it's Honoka and nobody wants me, I might have to get married to one of these two♪ Ehehe♡ That's true~ Umi-chan is reliable but she's also strict, Kotori-chan is kind but she's the type who only follows from behind—- Hmm, Honoka would rather be the child of these two♪ I'll have the two of them marry, and I'll become their baby♡ Uwaah, seems like that'll be a fun family!
  • From what's been translated of the Umi SID:
    • Two chapters, called 'My Destiny', feature Umi's reaction to Maki reluctantly leaving the group because her dad considers idol activities a distraction from real studies. The day after Maki announces she's leaving, Umi spends kendo practice time thinking about her and realizes that she understands Maki's pain well, because they were both born into big-name families that expect so much of them that they feel like they need to shelf what they really want to do. Then after the first practice day without Maki, she and the rest of μ's confront Maki's father to get her back, but Umi has the biggest impact, using her earlier realization to formulate a whole speech to convince him. When all's said and done, Maki returns to μ's, and closes the chapter with this:
      Maki: It's all thanks to you, Umi-chan, that I returned. Papa looks like he's taken a liking to you. You were really cool. It looks like we can start going out without any problems ♥
    • One the beach, Eli and Umi have a swim race. Beforehand, there was some talk about Umi being a Yamato Nadeshiko and the Heir to the Dojo, so her internal monologue winds up like this:
      I refused to be married into a family. By any chance, Eli might be a good girlfriend. Eli and I, hmm... there's not much of an age difference between us. Even now, why do I always feel like I should silently surrender? If I don't think about it I can't find an explanation for this.
  • Similar to Nozomi and Eli's "Garasu no Hanazono" and Nico and Maki's "Zurui Yo magnetic today," Umi and Kotori share a duet song in the form of "Anemone Heart." Similarly to the two previously mentioned songs, "Anemone Heart" is filled with Les Yay, including Umi and Kotori calling each other "my very first love." Keep in mind the fact that in-universe, Umi is the one who writes the lyrics of most of the songs, which might bring up some implications about Umi as well, since it means she could've wrote the lyrics to the previously mentioned "Garasu no Hanazono" and "Zurui Yo magnetic today" as well.
    • Umi and Eli also have "Storm in Lover" which can give "Garasu no Hanazono", "Zurui Yo magnetic today", and "Anemone Heart" a run for it's money when it comes to the amount of Les Yay in the song, as the song is about two lovers who want to spend the summer together, and the lyrics contain massive amounts of affection between the two.
      Just the two of us on the beach, I want to love you fervidly.
  • The opening of the first season shows all of the members of μ's lying together on the ground in a semicircle with the primary couples that get ship teased the most, Nico/Maki, Eli/Nozomi and Rin/Hanayo, shown to be practically close (with some added Honoka/Kotori/Umi subtext thrown in as well). This scene ends up getting reused as one of the final scenes of the shows last episode.
  • The OVA also has a crapload of Yuri subtext during the Music S.T.A.R.T!! video that plays at the end with the various girls shown sprawling around each other. Bonus points for the scene where all of the members of μ's are shown sleeping in bed together where, besides the primary couples being touchy-feely with one another, Umi and Kotori are also seen snuggling up together.
  • In one of the audio dramas, Umi gets incredibly aroused after witnessing Nozomi and Rin fool around, and she actually passes out from a nosebleed after her imagination runs wild about the two.
  • Nozomi and Maki have an entire episode dedicated to their relationship and to Nozomi helping Maki with her communication problems. Additionally, CD covers tend to depict them being rather close.
  • If you play School Idol Festival on Valentine's Day and White Day with Honoka as your partner, she'll say something about giving chocolates to Kotori specifically and her returning the favor a month later in White Day fashion, albeit it's ambiguous if it's romantic or friendship chocolates. However keep in mind, everyone else's quotes are pretty generic sayings like "I want chocolates" (sadly even Kotori's).
  • Apart from the main characters, several of their mothers like Principal Minami, Honoka's and/or Maki's moms are shipped to each other as well.note 
  • From one of the latest School Idol Diary illustrations, Umi and Kotori is seen donning wedding dresses. As with the NozoEli illustration, some people tend to see this as their actual marriage.
  • In the anime, Tsubasa's relationship with Honoka can be interpreted as Tsubasa having a crush on her.
    • In Season 2 Episode 3, Tsubasa quickly introduces herself to Honoka before playfully dragging her inside UTX. Tsubasa also says this gem later on.
      Tsubasa: (to Honoka) You're far more captivating in real life than on screen.
    • In Season 2 Episode 6, Tsubasa and Honoka had a one-on-one, heart-to-heart talk as leaders at a park drinking coffee.
    • In The Movie, Honoka confides a lot of her worries to Tsubasa. In return, Tsubasa offers Honoka her support.
  • In Chapter 37 of the manga, Nico surprises Eli by kissing her hand so that Eli would not hide her frustration over losing the first round versus A-RISE.

    Anthology Manga 

The Anthology manga chapters, being an official collection of fanon works, feature a number of daring, somewhat straightforward Ho Yay moments with little-to-no subtext that is not entirely featured in the official stories. Note that comic anthologies (of any series) are never considered canon unless creators themselves say so. The product listings for the anthologies usually contain a line saying "different artists draw their own interpretations", which is basically a disclaimer. Read at your own discretion.

  • Love Live! Anthology 1:
    • Lip☆Lecture 1, 2, 3! by Mizudama: Nico decides to buy Maki's missing Lip Balm...which the packaging obviously calls out that you could kiss someone once you applied it.
    • Disorder by Kazehana Chiruo (aka Bisaid): Maki does the Nico Nico Nii to cheer Nico up.
  • Love Live! Anthology 2:
    • The second chapter submitted by Norio Tsukudani (author of Himegoto), titled "Nico's Favourite, Maki-chan", and it's filled, (seriously filled) with NicoMaki yuri. Maki even plays a piano music dedicated to her.
  • Love Live! Comic Anthology µ's Sweet Memories:
    • My Santa by Ripo Day: Once Maki found out that Santa isn't real thanks to Nico, Nico decided to comfort her by becoming Maki's "Santa".
    • The Person You Seek Shall Arrive: The chapter consists of Nozomi and Eli's childhood.